Faelviir - Reflections

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Eira
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Faelviir - Reflections

Post by Eira » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:01 pm

Copper hair flowed freely down the elf’s bare shoulders. He stood before the pitted mirror, his eyes lingering on the flecks of grey and white where dirt and salt clung to its surface. Though the ship’s cabin rocked with the waves, he kept easy footing, swaying against the subtle to and fro. His gaze moved to focus on his own self, bare from the waist up and skin threatening to pale from the cold air that seeped underneath his door. Only those with lust for war and its aftermath could find anything to desire about his scarred and battered form. One particularly recent scar screamed its anger at him as he lifted a hand to graze his remaining fingers over the twisted and slightly pink edges. Still healing. It would take time.

Some would never heal, he knew, as his eyes lowered to focus on his twisted foot. It was a struggle even now to keep it turned straight, to act as if the limb still worked the way it was supposed to. He would never walk the same way, and the loss of two necessary fingers had ruined the bow for him too.

Even so, despite the map of wars spread across his body, there was only humor to be found in the curve up of his mouth and relaxed set of the jaw. Other than a previously broken nose and mangled ear, he could still imagine perhaps someone somewhere might find some pleasure in gazing upon him. One could hope, were he so fortunate.

His study of himself completed with a sigh, the elf turned towards the skinny bunk that had been his place of rest for the last month. Golden beads and leather ties lay out in the proper order next to the three severed braids of pale hair. He reached for the first bead and turned his mind away from the task as he began to braid his mass of hair up once more.

It stung, as it always did, as he pulled each strand tight before shackling it down with the others. He did not even need to look to the mirror again as practiced fingers went through the motions. The only pause was to pick up each braid to weave them into his hair. The first, white. Silver, the second. And finally, a light blond. They highlighted the dark copper of his own hair, secured with tie and bead and braid. The brief moments of light freedom inched away with every click of gold against gold as the weight of the braids settled down his back.

When he lowered his hands and looked back to the mirror, his eyes lingered on the iron spirals jutting from his ears. The dark rust of the earrings fit him far better than the bright polished gold, though it would take something beyond death for him to ever forego this particular ritual.

Dull chainmail lay on a heap at the end of his bed, though he allowed himself a longer glance in the mirror before he turned back to reach for his tunic and pull the armor over his head. Salt water had also ruined this metal, though his ragged tabard covered it well enough. At least he could scratch together enough coin for something new before it fell off his body altogether or gave him blood poisoning from the next wound.

Any cheer on his face had long since faded during the process of braiding and would not recover. Cold eyes pierced through the door as footsteps creaked a board just outside. Time to move onward.
Keth'ym Evanara
Faelviir
Akorae Torth
Okakri Rosemaw
Solyce Zau'r

Veriel Xyrdan - married and happy
Reena Welkins - Dead

User avatar
Eira
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:59 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Faelviir - Reflections

Post by Eira » Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:30 pm

“Are you sure?”

The battered elf hesitated at the question only long enough to draw his thin lips back in a sharp smile. “Of course,” he said with a light voice, lifting his three-fingered hand and dropping it onto the pouch of coins resting on the table between them. “I am not young anymore; I have children I wish to wander with and lovers to visit. Too many decades have been spent in war and bloodshed… Haven’t I deserved the chance to kick up my heels and spend the next century enjoying what life brings me?”

The human across from him laughed, the sound coming from somewhere deep in his barrel chest. Perhaps it even originated from that ample beer gut, along with the man’s bellowing voice one could hear from across the field of battle. Even now, he was just a bit too loud for the cramped office. “Not young! Hah! You’ll still be spry when my grandchildren are rolling in their graves.”

“Ah, well,” Faelviir chuckled heartily, pulling the coins closer before tucking them away into his satchel. “I want to live long enough to be sure of my own.”

“Good fortune, and it’s been a fine run!”

Half-turning, the elf paused, lifted two fingers in a casual salute, and finished his turn to saunter out the door. Or, at least, he sauntered as much as his twisted foot allowed, dragging slightly with each step if his mind wasn’t focused directly on it. Running ached these days, as much as it rankled him to admit, and it only took a skirmish for his knees to burn.

But the sun was warm on his face when he stepped out into the evening light, and for the first time in far too long, he found himself free of orders, free of obligation, free of anyone’s desires but his own.

As it should be.
Keth'ym Evanara
Faelviir
Akorae Torth
Okakri Rosemaw
Solyce Zau'r

Veriel Xyrdan - married and happy
Reena Welkins - Dead

User avatar
Eira
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:59 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Faelviir - Reflections

Post by Eira » Mon May 03, 2021 3:48 pm

“It’s not your fault,” she said softly, standing behind the elf and a bit to the side.

He was known to linger in this place by now, staring down at the ash-filled urn which rested upon a stone slab. Faelviir startled at the sound of her voice, face turning back quickly before he returned his gaze back to the elven words etched into stone. It was a simple epithet, all the easier to whisper over and over to oneself until it haunted their dreams.

Here rests those whom we have failed.

“Is it not?” he asked with an empty attempt at a smile. “Had I raised him from the beginning, it would not have ended this way. Had I refused the call of battle for some decades more, I could have been his father and not merely his sire. Had I taught him compassion and patience, he would not have been tempted to cut his childhood short for the hatred of war.”

She didn’t have a reply for him.

“I failed him,” Faelviir whispered. “I failed my son and I had to watch as he died.”

“It was too late. Even if a priest were near-”

He shook his head. “Too late, yes. When he first raised his blade, it was too late.”

She reached over to touch his shoulder. The elf sighed deeply and covered her hand with his own, squeezing it once before releasing.

“It will be different with my other children,” he vowed. “I will never leave them to grow up alone; to become twisted and dark.”

“Love them truly and they will know love over hate.”

“They will.”
Keth'ym Evanara
Faelviir
Akorae Torth
Okakri Rosemaw
Solyce Zau'r

Veriel Xyrdan - married and happy
Reena Welkins - Dead

User avatar
Eira
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:59 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Faelviir - Letter Home

Post by Eira » Tue May 04, 2021 7:50 pm

Dearest Auntie,

Thank you for the books you sent. They are greatly appreciated, as are the gifts that came with. I have not yet seen my daughter to pass hers along, but you know as well as I, that she will simply be delighted.

I have finished reading the first of the set (I know I should have written before I began; you do not need to wag your finger at me, beloved Auntie), but have not yet committed to delving into the second. Perhaps I lack patience when it comes to first consuming words or knowledge, but once they are fully settled in my mind, I find I can linger on them for many weeks or months more before feeling satisfied. I believe I spoke to you of it some years back when we discussed poetry. I do recall we left that debate firmly on opposite sides, though I could send you some pieces as I gather them. Though this island of Skal is coldly treacherous, the people are warm and merry, with many artists among them.

You will be pleased to learn, unless she has already written to you of it, that my daughter is likened to a gem among all the other bright souls settled here. Those we encounter speak fondly to her, and her to them. I must admit, I struggle with my own over-protective nature, as is the lot of any father, but the joy in my heart at the friends she is making holds back any hasty or overbearing decisions.

Do you have any advice for me on that front? It is not fear for her that guides my hand to my blade when I suspect ill nature or ill intentions to her; we both know very well how capable she is. But when some young buck seemed about to deliver insult (which then turned neatly into welcome flattery, to his credit), I very nearly acted in a way that would have shamed both her and myself. That same young buck went on to suggest marriage—in jest, I assure you!—and my old heart near stopped, though I said nothing at the time.

Perhaps it is the environment? I care dearly for her, but it felt so natural in the sheltered confines of home and where she studied, whereas now we travel together for the first time, I feel as if on a battlefield again, with ear perked and eye sharp to catch any arrows that may fall her way. The only time I can truly relax is when we are, indeed, fighting some foul beast or animation and the physical danger takes my attention from the social.

I do wonder sometimes if leaving my life as a soldier was the right one. Yes, yes, I know we spoke of it often, and I can imagine what you might say. My natures all chafe with one another throughout life and strife. My nature as a soldier in following orders and routine, my nature of an elf in living as my heart demands, my nature as a protector in righting wrongs as I see them, and now my nature as a father which is of intwined longing to both smother with love and let freely loose my children to face the world on their own two feet.

This dichotomy aches, and yet I wish I had been more aware of it the first time I became a father, for I veered too strongly in the wrong direction. In focusing on my own duty as a warrior and assuming the best path was in giving Irian complete freedom, I lost him altogether. A parent should not be a cage, nor should they be a wraith, of only vague memory and impression to their children.

The dichotomy aches, yes, but it is a good ache, borne by love and desire to be alongside my children as they grow. The past may fall eternally behind me, but it is the memories I shall keep close to my heart along with the lessons they taught. And, of course, your advice as always, Auntie, is most welcome. Though the fire is warm and the mead sweet, I miss our late-night talks and even the bitterest debates, for they roused the mind and kept it keen.

I am at loathe to speak too ill of those I travel with, but many have been, to put it kindly, lacking of intellectual imagination. The fault may be my own in being far too accustomed to chattering away as I travel or work, as conversation can do wonders in chasing away the chill and distracting from tired muscles or aching bones. Many prefer to battle in silence, but for pointing out any unexpected foes or spoils, which is far too dull for my tastes. I have spent too many centuries treating battle like a serious quiet affair, and if I must march in silence with only my own thoughts as company, well, the coin is not as tempting as sitting around a fire with others who are actually in the mood to converse.

Do you recall the songbook one of our guests penned before her visit? She left it with her departure, so I placed it on a shelf in the library and do not quite remember which one. If you could make a copy and send it with your next letter, I would be most grateful. There is a singer I met once who sought out elven songs, and while I have many in my memory, I think he may appreciate that collection as well. A plucky lad, also quite smitten with my daughter, though perhaps a little too brave for his own good. But what young lad or lass isn’t? I certainly remember similar days, running into danger to prove something to another pretty youth with sparkling eyes.

As for now? No, I have not yet found someone to catch my eye here, but it is truly not my priority for the moment. Romantic interludes are a delight, but I suspect the presence of a daughter scares off even light flirtations with the assumption that I am, to use the charmingly human phrasing, “shackled down”. Perhaps after some time, when we are more firmly established either in Skaljaard or the near archipelago, but unless someone conveniently swoons into my arms, I will focus on ensuring my daughter’s safety, our own funds, and of course, the work.

I suppose I have nattered enough to make using all this parchment worth it! Do pass on my love to the rest of my darling children and let me know how their studies fare. I have also enclosed a small sum of coin; perhaps you can take them on a trip somewhere? As soon as we have found a proper place to settle, I will return for a visit.

Much love,
Faelviir

P.S.
Tell Ynerys to lock the gate if she doesn’t want her pets to wander off! If she brings more home, she must understand that the responsibility includes feeding, training, and keeping an eye on them. I cannot chase after them when I am away, and if she keeps using her allowance to bribe her brothers into doing it, she’ll be left with nothing! Please be firm with her, Auntie.
Keth'ym Evanara
Faelviir
Akorae Torth
Okakri Rosemaw
Solyce Zau'r

Veriel Xyrdan - married and happy
Reena Welkins - Dead

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